Vital Signs

Vital Signs logo

October 2017 saw the launch of Norfolk Community Foundation’s first interim Vital Signs report focusing on key emerging needs and the challenges faced by people who live and work in our county. 

The Healthy and Strong Communities report focuses on the role that grassroots groups can play in building vibrant communities that are able to provide the care, support and opportunities that help people live full and active lives, improve their wellbeing and live independently for longer.


Norfolk’s Vital Signs – Healthy & Strong Communities 



In October 2016, Norfolk Community Foundation joined other community foundations across the network by taking part in Vital Signs – an annual report designed to measure social trends and the vitality of our communities to build a picture of life and social need in our county.

Norfolk is generally perceived as a prosperous part of the UK, with the majority of residents enjoying a high quality of life.  However, for many people, life in the county presents challenges compounded by isolation, low income and other life limiting factors.  Whilst Vital Signs explores the county’s strengths, it helps us to understand the scale and nature of inequality that affects some of our most vulnerable residents.

Combining statistical research with a community consultation, Vital Signs provides a digestible, well rounded picture of what life is like in Norfolk focusing on five themes:

Education, employment and skills, health and wellbeing, safer and stronger communities, rural living and fairness.

Vital Signs Report 2016

The short report with the headline findings from Vital Issues presented in a digestible format.



vital-issues2Vital Issues

Vital issues is a substantive document which presents existing research and follows a more academic format and lists sources and references. Produced by an intern researcher from the University of East Anglia, it provides the data behind Vital Signs.


Taking Vital Action

Community Foundations are increasingly being looked to, not only as philanthropy advisors but to take a community leadership role and to drive and influence positive social change on a local level.  In taking part in Vital Signs, our main priorities are to:

  • Ensure that our donors and strategic partners are equipped with the knowledge they need to enable them to direct their grant making to the most critical areas
  • Start new conversations with those who can support community philanthropy, ensuring they are informed about issues and opportunities for action so that their philanthropy makes a true difference
  • Enable us to help to influence the work of community leaders, residents, organisations, policy makers, public bodies and the private sector to enact social change

If you would like to know more about Vital Signs, please contact Jenny Bevan, Head of Programmes or Claire Cullens, Chief Executive on 01603 623958.